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Outsider Art Object

Various Objects


By (artist) non identifié


Object bought in Paris in 1939 during an exhibition of outsider art.

Rectangular panel presenting four quadrants with glass boxes containing miscellaneous items (parts of chisels, pieces of mirror, hooks, metal nibs, furniture handles, hairpins, tool handles, rings, watch wheels, strings and buttons…).

Object created by an outsider, originating from a mental patient’s exhibition in 1929 (Alain Jouffroy, “La collection André Breton” in L'œil n° 10, October 1955, rep. p. 39). “This object might have impacted the apparition of André Breton’s “poem-objects”, José Pierre (foreword by Robert Lebel, L'Aventure surréaliste autour d'André Breton, Paris, Filipacchi, Artcurial, 1986, rep. p.34) [Auction catalogue, 2003]

Outsider art
“In this true manifest of outsider art which constitutes the notice of October 1948, our friend Jean Dubuffet very rightly insists on the interest and sympathy we feel for the work of “the artists who are considered as insane and interned in psychiatric institutions." Needless to say, I fully subscribe to his declarations: “The reason for why a person is deemed unfit for social life appears to us as belonging to an order we don’t accept.” I also declare that I totally agree with Lo Duca, who wrote an outstanding paper titled "The art of Insane People," which unfortunately has been communicated to me without reference, and of which I shall confine myself to quoting the following extracts: “In a world crushed by megalomania, pride and bad faith, the notion of insanity is quite imprecise.” By the way, it has been found that the number of megalomaniacs cured in psychiatry is extremely limited. Indeed, the moment insanity becomes collective – or manifests itself within the community – it becomes taboo… To our mind, the authentic insane manifests themselves through commendable expressions where s/he is never constraint or suffocated by reasonable scope. This absolute liberty gives to this mental patients’ art a grandeur which can be found for sure in Primitive work also...

It should be noted that, when it comes to making room for these works, a growing embarrassment has consistently been expressed for half a century in the psychiatric setting – where these works were yet considered principally on the basis of their clinical value. In his book L'Art chez les fous, published in 1905, Marcel Réja refutes that they should be considered as “outside the framework, unrelated to the norm” because of their mental disease and shows sensitivity to the beauty of some of their work. Hans Prinzhorn (Bildnerei des Geistenkranken, 1922) raises awareness on the most outstanding of them – notably those of August Neter, Hermann Beil, Joseph Sell, and Wölfli – and ensures for the first time a presentation worthy of them, calls for a confrontation with other contemporary work which, in many aspects, results in a disadvantage for the latter…

I don’t fear to throw out the idea, paradoxical only at first, that the art of those categorized as mental patients constitutes a treasure trove of moral health. Indeed, it is sheltered from anything that could distort the testimony that we are considering here, coming from external influences, calculations, success or disappointments on a social level, etc. Here, the mechanisms of artistic creation are free from any hindrance. By an amazing dialectical effect, while confinement, giving up all profits as well as all vanities might seem pathetic when considered individually, they are here the guarantee for a total authenticity which is lacking everywhere else, and for which we yearn with each successive day.” André Breton (Surrealism and Painting, New edition, revisited and corrected, 1928-1965, Paris, Gallimard, 1965, pp. 313-316) [Auction catalogue, 2003]


- La Révolution surréaliste, cinquième année, n° 12, 15 décembre 1929, rep. p. 43

- « L'objet », Cahiers d'art, 11e année, n° 1-2, 1936, rep. p. 50

- Alfred H. Barr Jr, Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1936, rep n° 608

- Alain Jouffroy, « La collection André Breton », L'Œil n° 10, octobre 1955, rep. p. 39

- Londres, Art Council of Great Britain, Dada and surrealism reviewed, 1978, n° 9, p.123, p. 227 (étiquette au dos)

- José Pierre, Robert Lebel (avant-propos de), L'aventure surréaliste autour d'André Breton, Paris, Filipacchi, Artcurial, 1986, ISBN 2-85018-458-6, rep. p. 34

- Paris, Musée national d'art moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou, André Breton, la beauté convulsive, 1991, rep.p.305

- Los Angeles County Museum, Parallel Vision, Los Angeles, 1992, rep. p.100, rep. n°66

- Les Chemins de l'art brut (2) : Aloïse Corbaz, A.C.M., Theo, André Breton et l'art brut, les naïfs, primitifs du XXe ?, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Musée d'art moderne Lille Métropole, 11 septembre-17 novembre 2003, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Musée d'art moderne Lille Métropole, 2003, n° isbn 2-86961-066-1, Cit. p. 12, repr. p. 13

- Durozoi, Gérard, Dada et les arts rebelles, Editions Hazan, Paris, 2005, n° isbn 2 7541 0044 X, repr. et commenté p.65

- L'Aracine et l'art brut : Les chemins de l'art brut 8, [exposition,], Paris, Institut national d'histoire de l'art, du 24 septembre au 15 décembre 2009, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Galerie les 3 lacs, Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3, du 19 janvier au 26 février 2010, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, LaM, 2009, 183 p. ; 26 cm, ISBN 9782869610815, repr. p. 168

- Hypnos, Images et inconscients en Europe (1900-1949), présentée au Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse à Lille du 14 mars au 12 juillet 2009, Musée d'Art Moderne Lille Métropole, 2009/03/17, ISBN 9782869610804, repr. p. 253 (ill. 217)

- Collections, Paris, Hazan, 2010 ; Villeneuve-d'Ascq : LaM, 2010, 254 p. ; 22 cm, ISBN 978-2-86-96-1082-8, repr. p. 183

La Révolution surréaliste, n°12

Creation date1929
Physical description42,5 x 15,5 cm (16 3/4 x 6 1/8 in.), sd
From / ProvenanceAcquis à Paris, en 1929, lors d'une exposition d'art aliéné

Musée Lam de Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d'Ascq : Inv: 2003.7.3

Size42,50 x 15,50 cm
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 4027
CategoriesFine Art, Sculpture
Set[Exhibitions] 1965-1966, L'écart absolu
ExhibitionsFantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, 1936-1937 , L'Écart absolu, 1965
Permanent link
Exhibition places

See also

2 Works

Objet d'aliéné

non identifié


Objet d'art brut acquis à Paris en 1929 lors d'une exposition d'art aliéné.

Une image, une notice descriptive, une bibliographie, des expositions, un musée.

[Exhibitions] 1991, boîte archives bleue, Beaubourg


Portraits d'André Breton rue Fontaine

Lo Kay

Quatre portraits photographiques d'André Breton rue Fontaine réalisés par Lo Kay vers 1939.
Quatre images, une notice descriptive à compléter.

[Photos d'objets] photos in the studio